The latest international BENEO research study about functional beverages, released, shows that consumers, no matter their nationality, expect prolonged and balanced energy as well as mental performance enhancement from their functional beverages. The quantitative research*, carried out across the United States, the UK and Germany, focused on the benefits consumers expect from their energy, sports and functional water drinks.
NEW FORMS OF ENERGY AND MENTAL PERFORMANCE DELIVERY ARE KEY FOR THE FUTURE OF FUNCTIONAL BEVERAGES It seems that the need for sustained energy and mental alertness is not restricted by national borders. The latest BENEO research results show that “prolonged energy”, “balanced energy” and “mental performance” are ranked highest as the benefits that respondents expect from their sports, energy and functional water drinks. Dr. Christian Niederauer, Market Research Manager, BENEO comments, “Only slight differences in priorities are recorded across the beverage sectors in our consumer research, but the message remains clear—functional beverages need to deliver new forms of energy and maintain mental performance if they are to prove successful in the long-term.”
US, UK and German respondents favor “prolonged energy” and “balanced energy” as the top benefits of sports drinks. When consuming energy drinks, all respondents place high importance on “prolonged energy” (USA: 87%, UK: 84%, Germany: 81%), with only the US favoring “mental performance” more (88% and 87% respectively). Also, the provision of “balanced energy” is rated highly by the respondents when consuming functional waters (81% of US, 84% of UK and 76% of Germans).
This quantitative study shows that the non-cariogenic benefits of drinks score well in all countries. In particular, US respondents favor tooth-friendly sports drinks (76%), whereas German and UK participants prefer functional waters to deliver their tooth-friendly benefits (Germany: 78% and UK: 86%).
WHEN AND WHERE?
The frequency at which energy, sports and functional water drinks are consumed differs dramatically in the US, UK and Germany. With 30% of the US respondents frequently consuming sports drinks each month, this beverage category seems to be the most popular for the US-market (energy drinks: 18% and functional waters: 20%). German and UK respondents also show a difference in their frequent monthly consumption, with 31% of Germans preferring functional waters (energy drinks: 23% and sports drinks: 24%) and more than a third (36%) of UK respondents choosing to consume an energy drink (sports drinks: 31% and functional waters: 16%).
Not only does the frequency of drinking functional beverages differ depending on the country or type of functional beverage, but also the times of day that it is consumed. It seems that all countries agree that sports beverages are best consumed during sport activity (60% of US, 62% of German and 51% of UK respondents). However, German respondents feel the need for an energy boost during the evening, with 52% consuming an energy drink at that time, as opposed to US and UK respondents, who prefer to have theirs during the day or at work (US: 62% and UK: 49%).
The consistency across all respondents for the need of prolonged and sustained energy might be due in part to the lack of energy felt across the nations. The female respondents in the BENEO study feel “lacking in energy” the most (USA: 47%; UK: 43% and Germany: 39%). However, this lack of energy crosses ages in all countries, independent of gender: In Germany, teenagers are struggling the most (43%) with low energy levels. While in the UK and the USA, the groups aged 20-29 and 30-39 years, respectively, are feeling they lack energy the most (UK: 45% and USA: 44%).
Dr. Christian Niederauer, continues, “At BENEO we are committed to continued research into consumer preferences, to ensure that we can best advise potential and existing customers on product development. Research such as this ensures that customers have all the insights and support they need from BENEO to develop, manufacture and market new, innovative and relevant products. The research results in Germany, the UK and the US confirm our belief that consumers are continuing to seek out new ways of boosting their energy and performance in the functional beverages category. We are in a good place to maximize new product development opportunities for functional beverages with our next generation carbohydrate, Palatinose™.”
BENEO’s next generation carbohydrate Palatinose™ (generic name: isomaltulose) provides full carbohydrate energy in the form of glucose over a longer period of time. Glucose is the energy source for physical and mental performance. Being low-glycemic, it releases energy the balanced way without sudden peaks and drops of the blood glucose level. Thus, it also supports an enhanced fat oxidation during physical activity. Furthermore, it is the first fully digestible tooth-friendly carbohydrate.
For further information on BENEO and its ingredients, please visit: www.beneo.com
*Study carried out in Germany, UK and USA, via independent market research institutes in each country from summer 2010 until spring 2011. The survey looked at energy drinks, sports drinks and functional waters. The respondents were aged between 14 and 59 years of age with more than 1700 respondents from each country.
The BENEO product portfolio consists of functional ingredients with nutritional and technical advantages, derived from chicory roots, beet sugar, rice and wheat. BENEO is the ideal partner to help improve the health (weight management, energy for mental & physical performance, digestive, bone and dental health), taste, texture and nutritional value (fat and sugar replacement/fiber enrichment) of a product. Through a unique chain of expertise, including the BENEO-Institute, BENEO actively supports (industry partners in) the development of more balanced and healthy food products.
BENEO is a division of the Südzucker Group, employs almost 900 people and has production units in Belgium, Chile, Germany and Italy. www.BENEO.com